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Illustrated Catalogue of Linotype Parts

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Illustrated Catalogue of Linotype Parts


Published 1898
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"Illustrated Catalogue of Linotype Parts Manufactured and Sold By Ott. Mergenthaler & Co." (Baltimore, MD: Ott. Mergenthaler & Co., 1898). This is a catalogue produced by Ottmar Mergenthaler's own machine shop in Baltimore after his falling-out with the New York based syndicate which became the Mergenthaler Linotype Company. Because the NY company controlled the basic Linotype patents, only they could manufacture complete machines. Mergenthaler's own company manufactured both spare parts and attachments. (They did so until 1905, when they ceased active manufacturing and their facilities were sold at auction.)

The original paper copy of this catalogue is missing pages 1-21 at the beginning of the parts section and pages 84-92 at the end of the parts section. It seems to have been bound this way.

This catalogue is significant for many reasons. It shows several views of the Ott. Mergenthaler works. (The view of its offices on p. 158 is believed by Stephen O. Saxe to show Mergenthaler himself at his desk.) It demonstrates that the Ott. Mergenthaler Co. was using the same system of part numbering as the Mergenthaler Linotype Company (some of the part numbers appearing it it remained in use until the end of Linotype production in the 1970s). This strongly suggests (but cannot prove) that Mergenthaler himself began the characteristic Linotype parts numbering system so familiar to Linotype machinists for nearly a century. It shows not only conventional but also more unusual attachments. The "Movable Right-Hand Jaw" attachment is an early attempt at what would later be termed a "quadder." The "Small Magazine Attachment" is the first instance of the use of side magazines on a Linotype (the Mergenthaler Linotype Company did not introduce a side magazine machine until 1914). The "Large Magazine Attachment" turns the Model 1 Linotype into the machine that Richard Huss termed the "Twin Linotype" in his history of "The Development of Printers' Mechanical Typesetting Methods" (Charlottesville, VA: Univ. Press of VA, 1976), pp. 197-198. The information here clarifies the nature of this machine, and solves a silent mystery in Huss: it employed non-standard 8-tooth matrices.

This is the same physical copy of this catalogue from which extracts were reprinted in Carl Schlesinger's edition of Mergenthaler's autobiography, "The Biography of Ottmar Mergenthaler, Inventor of the Linotype" (New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll, 1989): pp. 76-85.

This digital edition was scanned by Stephen O. Saxe from his copy, with additional image preparation by Dr. David M. MacMillan.


Publisher CircuitousRoot for Stephen O. Saxe
Year 1898
Language English
Book contributor Stephen O. Saxe
Collection catalogs; additional_collections
Notes This catalogue was scanned at 600dpi RGB and converted to JPEG images. It has been uploaded in PDF format at two resolutions: 100 percent and (reduced in software to) 50 percent. The 100 percent version may be distinguished by "0600" encoded in its filenames, the 50 percent version by "0300". If you "hover over" the "Read Online" links to the left or follow the "All Files: HTTPS" link, you will see the two sets of files. The "PDF" files are the original uploaded files; the "PDF with text" files are automatically derived files which are searchable but which have lower-resolution processed page images.

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